Remarks at bilateral with the Right Honourable John Key MP, Prime Minister of New Zealand, Vientiane, Laos



It’s great to see you and the team again, be reunited. We’ve got a lot to talk about here.


You were just at the G20?


I was yeah. The big theme there - if you could boil it right down - was how do we maintain public confidence in open markets, free trade, and economic reform in the face of a rising tide of protectionism in a lot of countries. Both Australia and New Zealand’s economic success is of course testament to all of those values, all of those important principles really. The way I tried to sum it up best was to say you’ve got to get across the point that protectionism is not a ladder to get you out of the slow-growth trap, in fact it is a shovel to dig it deeper and make (inaudible). That was the big economic agenda so hence free trade, innovation were big themes. Here we are talking about security issues, regional security issues. A very big item is going to be counter-terrorism and enhanced cooperation and of course, our defence forces are working as closely as they always do in the battle against ISIL in the Middle East and our collaboration on that front is as tight as it can be. We’ve got a lot to talk about. It’s great to see you again.